Saturday, March 15, 2014

Two Flavors of Love Birds: Peach-faced and Inca Doves

The weather was beautiful last week in Gilbert, Arizona. Song birds were singing and nests were being prepared for another season of breeding. Bird love was in the air and I happened upon a pair of Inca Doves while strolling through the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch.  The dove below is one of the two as they were feeding along a gravel path.

Inca Dove Gilbert, AZ
For many bird species the male tends to have more color so it is easy to distinguish between male and female. This is not the case for Inca Doves. Inca Doves also tend to associate in small groups so I'm not positive about this next statement, but I would imagine these two birds were a breeding pair based on the time of year and the number of singing Incas I heard while in the park. Inca Doves appear nearly half the size of the typical Mourning Dove. They are dainty, about eight inches long. They have red eyes and red primary and under-wing feathers. Many of their body feathers have a slightly dark outer edge which gives them a scaly look compared to other doves.

Inca Doves in Gilbert, AZ
Inca Doves in Gilbert, AZ
As I was leaving the park that day I received a visit from a true lovebird, a Peach-faced Lovebird--sometimes called Rosy-faced Lovebird. These parrots are not native to the United States. They are from arid regions of southwestern Africa. They were originally imported to the US as pets. Some of the escaped birds took well to the Phoenix area and have established feral populations.

Peach-faced Lovebird in Gilbert, AZ


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Laurence. I'm looking forward to birding with the local expert next time I'm in the Phoenix area. Your wit and humor would add another layer of fun to the experience.